Behind the Scenes: Lucy Monroe
Her Greek Billionaire is probably the most reader-influenced book I’ve ever written. I knew who Rowan was and what she planned, but her hero was still nebulous in my mind. So, I asked readers in my Lucy Monroe’s Book Nook group on FB what kind of billionaire hero they wanted to see next. A Greek tycoon won by a narrow margin. (My readers are partial to hot Sicilian billionaires as well.) Then, when Tom and I were planning a sun therapy cruise to Mexico, I asked my readers how they would feel about a cruise like that being part of Rowan and Lysander’s story. Everyone was excited by the idea and I shared both my experiences aboard ship with my readers, but also snippets of Rowan & Lysander’s story, which I was working on.
Thinking is a big part of writing, so I include time for that in my process. I am an edit-as-you-go writer, which means that I write new stuff every day, edit it the next day and write more new stuff to be edited the day after. I often write six days a week during my productive months. I have SAD which makes six months out of the year more challenging for me creatively. During the longer days of spring and summer, I will usually write 2,000 words a day and during the shorter days of fall and winter, I’m happy if I get 500. I also usually take full weekends off during the fall and winter and do A LOT of reading and thinking. Whereas in spring and summer, I only take off Sundays. It is hugely important for every writer to do an honest and realistic assessment of their time and creative energy before setting any kind of writing goals. Just willing it will not make it happen. In my experience, setting goals that push you to your limits (and past them) will eventually lead to burn out and writer’s block.
As I mentioned, Rowan came to me first. I could see her in her bright outfits, driving her eco friendly car, her curly red hair bouncing around her face before I ever wrote a word of her story. The grumpier Lysander took more digging. He and I had to have a few conversations as I figured out his backstory and what drove him to be the self-made billionaire he is.
Setting and Worldbuilding
I love setting books in Greece. If I could retire there, I would. And who knows…anything is possible. But adding a cruise to Mexico to the Athens setting was hugely inspirational. My husband and I have been on several cruises like the one I write about and revisiting the cities and activities through my character’s eyes was a lot of fun.
One of my most common themes in my writing is that we do not have to be perfect to be loved. Neither Lysander, nor Rowan, are perfect. But they are perfect for each other. There’s a component of setting healthy boundaries with family and rebuilding relationships too in Her Greek Billionaire. I love that Rowan realizes her own worth and leverages her incredibly loyal nature to others to learn to be loyal to herself. What I am most proud of in this story though is that it is a little funny (I love intelligent humor in a book.) and there is more romance and living with the love after declarations are made than in some of my previous billionaire books. This book feels like a progression for me and I’m really touched that several readers have expressed they feel the same.